Thin layers of gold plating can be removed from silver jewelry using a mildly abrasive pad. The pad should be moved back and forth across the plating while applying a small amount of pressure. After some time, this action completely removes the gold plating. Some types of metal polishes have also been known to remove thin gold plating. Thick layers of gold plating should be removed by a professional jeweler.
After removing the thin layer of gold plating, the surface of the silver jewelry is likely to be scratched. Tripoli compound applied to a felt cloth acts as a buffer and can be used to smooth out the scratches. Using jeweler's rouge after buffing with the Tripoli compound restores the silver jewelry to its original shine. Using a soft cloth, any extra polish should be wiped off. If necessary, applying silver polish to the jewelry restores it to its original shining form.
Sometimes, gold plating is used to protect other metals in a necklace. It is important to determine if the gold plating is essential to the piece before removing it. If there is any doubt, taking the jewelry to a professional jeweler to remove the plating may be the best way to preserve the piece.